I’m settling into week three (and I know I’m behind on two blogs) but I wanted to quickly capture the essence of my evening. It’s different living in a small town. I’ve never spent a considerable amount of time in a place with less than 4 million people. Reno is the big city in these parts and 90 minutes away. Compared to the other places I lived, at best it’s 1/10 the size. South Lake Tahoe is considerably smaller and equally remote.
I’m getting into the cadence of driving down at least one day out of the weekend into Reno or Carson City. I’ve made a few new friends down there and I’ve connected with some old friends in the area. Each time I go down I’m always disoriented by seeing interstate 580. In the Bay Area, it’s the well-known freeway that connects the North Bay, most of the East Bay, with the Central Valley. Except for a few spots it’s generally congested most of the day.
Out here interstate 580 couldn’t be a prettier drive. It winds around the outside of Carson City parallels Washoe Lake, affords a grand view of the Eastern Sierra, and winds up in downtown Reno. Most of the way I was rolling with Mercedes up the freeway into town. Such stark contrast to what I know back home. Given that interstate 180 was available and would eliminate confusion with the Bay Area crowd, I think the person who named it wanted to mess with people.
I dropped into the Nevada Museum Of Art located near downtown Reno. The featured exhibit explored one of Nevada’s deep cultural events: Burning Man. I’ve known quite a few people from the Bay Area to go to Burning Man but I’ve never been myself. The museum had all kinds of artifacts from the event and did a good job telling the story. I often find that museums that focus on more modern history hold my interest longer than museums that focus on ancient history. I enjoy the closer cultural relevance and seeing the museum’s take and bias on those events.
They also had an interesting exhibit about the American submarine fleet. The pictures don’t do it justice but seeing the visual representation of all the submarines at different heights was pretty cool.
On the way back home I found myself curving along one of Reno’s higher byways (Lakeside Drive) on the west side of town and stopped at Audrey Harris Park.on a small, unassuming strip of land perched above the south side of Reno. Needless to say the park didn’t disappoint. We hit it just after the sun slipped behind the mountains and left a warm glow all across the Washoe Valley. Full color was also near peak and could be seen as far as the eye could see. I never really considered Reno a center for fall color but the city didn’t disappoint. As a matter of fact, I think it outshines the developed part of the Bay Area. There were lots of yellows, a touch of orange, and lots of reds spread out for the eyes to enjoy.
Reno is definitely different than home – no doubt. It’s definitely though, a place with its perks and enjoyments unique to itself. Where did the weekend go? Definitely looking forward to the next one!